The Raptors and Nets play back-to-back games in the O2 Arena in London today and tomorrow, with 3pm ET start times for both games. The Nets are 0-3 since they acquired Deron Williams on deadline day last Thursday, and while his shot has been off (.333 FG%) he’s been proving his worth as a playmaker with an impressive 15.7 assists per game average.
The Nets will be looking for their first win against an Atlantic Division rival this season, as they’re 0-9 against the Celtics, Knicks, Sixers and Raptors going into this game. While the Raptors are a half-game behind the Nets in the standings, they have a 4-8 record in intra-division games, including a 98-92 win over the Nets on December 17. Andrea Bargnani had one of his best performances of the season in the game, finishing with 32 points (including 24 second-half points) on 14-for-26 shooting, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Toronto: Reggie Evans and Joey Dorsey are both listed as questionable to play today.
New Jersey: Deron Williams is expected to play in spite of a bruised hand. Jordan Farmar is listed as questionable while Quinton Ross is out.
1. Do you think the Nets have a better than 50 percent chance of convincing Deron Williams to sign with them beyond next season?
2. Based on what you’ve seen from James Johnson so far, how would you compare his contributions to those of Hedo Turkoglu last season?
3. Is Stephen Graham the worst player in the NBA to get regular playing time? Among players with at least 700 minutes played this season, his Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 4.1 is dead last, well behind Rasual Butler’s PER of 6.0.
4. Is there a team with more bad contracts than the Nets? Dan Gadzuric ($7.2 million), Travis Outlaw ($7 million), Sasha Vujacic ($5.4 million) and Brandan Wright ($3.4 million) combine for 39 percent of the Nets’ total player salaries this season.
5. Why are both today’s and tomorrow’s games in London considered home games for the Nets? Seems like kind of a raw deal.
Start time: 3:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani
New Jersey: Deron Williams, Anthony Morrow, Damion James, Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez
Today’s pregame song is “Dream” by London rapper Dizzee Rascal — cool video, nice song.